1. Vivienne Crow
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    Vivienne Crow Member

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    Thoughts on Self-Publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Vivienne Crow, May 17, 2007.

    .self-publishing.or.vanity.publish.

    What are everyone's thoughts on Self-Publishing? Do you think it's a respectable way to publish your book, or the lazy way out?


    .cutting.corners.or.empowering.yourself.

    I myself am Self-Publishing my first book. I even have a Self-Publishing company lined up. I see both sides of this arguement as I can see how a "Vanity Publish" would rub people the wrong way. Other author's work their butts off trying to get themselves published, most likely recieving many rejection letters, where as Self-Publishing author's pay money [alot of money] to cut through all the red tape and step away from all the rejection. It doesn't seem fair, but I would rather do it this way because it would become easier for me to be picked up by another publishing company.

    .imagine.your.in.this.position.

    What is your opinion about Self-Publishing/Vanity Publishing?

    xxFrostyxx
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's ok if all you want is a few copies to give to your friends and family and can afford the cost... but if you want to establish yourself as a writer, it's definitely NOT the way to go...

    sorry, but that's absolutely not true!... paying publishers look on the vanity-published as not worth even looking at, since they clearly couldn't get a publisher to buy their work... and most of the stuff put out that way is hopelessly bad...

    the only exceptions are the extremely rare few instances of a book becoming a best-seller and garnering major media attention, no matter how bad it is [i.e., redfield's grade-school-level-awful 'celestine prophecy']...
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    LadyFrost,

    It sounds like you've already made your choice.

    In the end, it depends on your goals, I guess. But, as Mammamaia indicated, self-publishing is really not a route to take if it's intended to be used as a stepping stone for the next book written to be picked up by a publisher. I doubt that it will reduce the chance/number of rejections.

    Who has read it and provided input? Have you submitted it to agents/publishers yet? What is the plan to sell the books once they're printed? If you intend to get noticed by publishing houses, you'll have to sell well into the thousands, if not more. While you're working on selling the thousands of books in an effort garner attention from publishers, when will you find the time to write?

    Just another opinion to add to the mix.

    Best of luck with whatever choice you finally settle on.

    Terry
     
  4. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just as a thought LadyFrost, have you ever thought of trying to publish something in a magazine on the net, I mean I know most don't pay, but it does build up a portfolio for you really and may, MAY give you a bit more credit when it comes to trying to get a paid publication.

    Just thought I would throw that idea across for you.

    ~Torana
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry to say, it won't... traditional [= paying] publishers don't look at having work posted on freebie sites as being 'published'...

    and, if you have had any work on them, it's strongly suggested you not mention it in queries to agents or paying venues, if you want to be taken seriously...
     
  6. Vivienne Crow
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    Vivienne Crow Member

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    mammamaia, its starting to sound like there is absolutely nothing you can do to try and help yourself get successfully published.

    I've heard that getting short stories and other articles published in magazines help in getting publishers to notice you, and this I have heard from a well established australian author, who did the same thing. Published work in newspapers, magazines and actually self published his first novel. And now nearly all of his books are on the best sellers list. [By the way he's name is Matthew Reilly and is the author of "Area 7" and "Ice Station"].

    Writing is passion for me, something I must do for myself, but if I never get published I wont be disappointed because I know I have talent and so does my family, but if no one else in the entire world get's to see this I wont have regretted anything.

    I'm actually leaning more towards getting into the publishing industry myself, I'm aiming towards opening my own Publishing House and I'm currently doing a business course and A Professional Editing and Proofreading course.

    Thanks for the help guys.

    xxFrostyxx
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not nothing... the way to do it is to write great, professional-level stuff and keep sending it out till you find takers...

    as for the magazine bit, things may be different in oz... i'm referring to the us publishing industry, only... sorry, should've said so!...
     
  8. Vivienne Crow
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    Vivienne Crow Member

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    LOL that's alright. I think that I want to keep to australia when I publish my stuff...I may not get as famous as if I would have in US but as I've said publishing is not something I strive to do, just a bonus.

    xxFrostyxx
     
  9. raquien
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    raquien New Member

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    Self-Publishing Guide and Tips

    You may visit http://self-publishing-guide.blogspot.com - Your one stop site to Self-Publishing. What, Why and How to self publish your work? How to Self Publish your novels, poetry, etc or maybe finding out Self-Publishing Companies.
     
  10. Sophronia
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    Sophronia Member

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    I admit, self-publishing may be a bit lazy, but it can save a ton of money and time. Of course, it's usually up to the author to promote their work, but I myself am cool with that. Those are my thoughts.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how?... compared to what?... sure, it will result in you seeing your work in book form, but you'll be tainted with the vanity-published brush, not be considered really 'published' by anyone but yourself and family, and most likely won't sell enough of the over-priced, poor quality pbs to break even...
     
  12. Targaddon
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    Targaddon Banned

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    Sometimes though if you don't try you will never know. Perhaps if ladyfrost feels this is the right path to walk then she should walk it. Im not sure really what my thoughts on self Publishingf are. But if you want to be able to say hey I have something published then surely the risk is Frostys to take.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can say that, but it won't be true!... not in the legitimate publishing world, anyway... and if you want yourself and your work to be taken seriously, that is not the way to do it... once you've been vanity published, agents and paying presses won't be interested in you or your work... sure, there are exceptions, as there are to any rule, but they're extremely rare...

    that said, if all you want is a few books to give to family and friends and don't care that you won't be a 'published author' then a decent pod is a good way to go...
     
  14. Targaddon
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    Targaddon Banned

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    Look it works for some OK Just because you like to dampen everything that could be positive doesn't mean it wont work.

    Its worked for loads.
    Might I say your atitiude is really dampening towards others.
     
  15. Sophronia
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    Sophronia Member

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    I have my work published at www.lulu.com, even if it is self published. And who knows? You can use self-publishing to show your work to "agents and paying presses", even if the chances of them considering it are slim. It's all in how hard you work for it.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...i never said it didn't and even mentioned the exceptions...

    please don't presume to tell me what i like to do... and what i do is not 'dampen' everything positive, but merely point out the reality and practicality of the business of writing to those who clearly don't know enough about it, or are asking for answers to questions...

    i'm not going to sugar-coat the truth, just to make people feel better, when they need to know it, in order to learn what they have to do to succeed at what is a hard-to-impossible business to succeed in... to do anything less, is not being truly helpful...

    ...if by 'worked' you mean it accomplished what the writers wanted, i haven't said it doesn't... but it hasn't worked for 'loads' of those who hoped it would make them 'published authors'... and the distinction has to be made, or you'll be misleading those who are asking for help in building a writing career...

    you might, but you'd be just being what seems to have become your usual self, where anything i say is concerned... i don't diss your posts or attack you personally, so don't have a clue why you seem to need to do it to me... you're shooting the messenger... i don't make the rules or create the reality, just pass them on honestly, without filtering them through the rose-tinged lenses you seem to prefer...

    why can't you just agree to disagree, without being so personally disagreeable?
     
  17. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Above, Lulu.com was mentioned. I think that there is a distinction between them and a vanity press. Lulu is more like a printer for those who want to self-publish, and they don't try to claim to be anything else.

    Again, it depends on the goals of the writer, but at most an editor at a major publisher or an agent who sells to them won't be impressed that a writer paid to have someone publish his or her work. A manuscript of the work, unpublished, would do better, especially if the novel was of a quality where it could make it in the market.

    In order to impress the agent or the editor, a large number of sales, in the thousands would be needed. How much time would that take to sell such? If you're a naterual salesman and marketeer, maybe it won't be so bad or long...but that is still time you're not writing.

    Of the self-published, in general nonfiction, where an individual has an expertise and niche market...be it a motivational speaker for example, or a craftsman of some sort, I believe the odds of success and higher sales are there.

    There are always exceptions. One has to decide why they might be the possible exception to the pretty reliable rule.

    Just another opinon added to the mix.

    Terry
     
  18. Vivienne Crow
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    Vivienne Crow Member

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    Thank you to all that have replied to this question, it has given me alot of view points to Self-Publishing and has given me ALOT to think about.

    I can understand where everyone [including the publishers] are coming from on this subject and I have to admit that I might not be doing the right thing [for my future career] in self-publishing.

    But I still might keep it in mind depends on what happens in the future.

    Thanks all I'm very greatful.

    xxFrostyxx
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    while some who use them may like to think there is, there really is no difference... self-publishing is just one version of 'vanity' publishing...

    basically, any publisher/printer that doesn't pay you for your work is commonly considered a 'vanity publisher'...

    the reason is that you more or less 'hire' any of those various venues to print your book, so you can sell it, whereas a 'real' publisher 'buys' your book so they can print it and they can sell it...
     
  20. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    Actually id have to agree with that Maia. At the end of the day why would you have to pay for your own work if its that good?
     
  21. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    The only time I would ever say that self/vanity publishing is okay/good is if you're just using it to see yourself in print or give copies to friends and family. If your intent is to make money or fame, it's the wrong method.
     
  22. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mammamia, while that is generally true, in an example I gave above, people who speak on various topics (I've come across a few over the years) often hire a printer to print, usually trade paperback format, books based on their topic or expertise that they sell to those who've attended whatever seminar, workshop, conference, etc.

    I would not consier that 'vanity'. It is a business venture. The individual is paying a printer the cost of creating the book, and as the individual does the selling/marketing as part of their regular business activity. They keep a large share (sometimes half or more depending on the pricing) of the revenue from the sales. In general, this is nonfiction material.

    So, while I'm 98% in agreement on this, it's a distinction that I think is important.

    Terry
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you might not, but to the publishing world in general, non-fiction or whatever, it still is an example of 'vanity' publishing, in that the writer paid to have his book printed...

    the reason for doing so isn't what determines the 'vanity' label... only that the book wasn't taken on by a paying publisher does...

    that said, you've raised a good point, adding another 'good' reason for self-publishing...
     
  24. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I think we could all probably agree that if you're going to self-publish, you should do it with caution.
     
  25. poempedlar
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    poempedlar Senior Member

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    The Poem Pedlar

    I self published the Poem Pedlar, Poetry for Children. I did all the work myself including illustrations. I tell a lie, I had a 12 yr old boy do the cover. I only had a small print run and have sold most of the books. Although you will find much advice written about self publishing you will not find much advice about self selling. I trudged round the bookshops to find most of them would order 3 or 4 but it was a wonderful experience to see my book as a centrepiece in Ottokar's window. I live in France so the opportunity to sell the rest is restricted but I can still sell them years later you don't have to do it tomorrow. I have read poems on BBC radio, won prizes and had people throw lunches for the author, (me would you believe). Throw yourself on the unsuspecting public and you will be surprised what you can achieve. Nothing succeeds like success and you have to get your work out there. Several people could split the cost of publishing an anthology of poetry or several short stories. Between you the chances of selling them are much increased. You can get the local newspaper to do an article about you and your book. Do it.
     

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